Is Co-Washing Like Washing Your Dirty Clothes In Fabric Softner?

by West Parsons on June 17, 2013 · 9 comments

in reader e-mail

cowashing fabric softner

Did you catch that dirt?! #MariahHuq-MarriedToMedicine-Voice

A reader alerted me to this post found on Kurlee Belle’s instagram [+]. In addition to what you see above, Kurlee Belle’s commentary  promoted their own line of shampoo stated “Real Talk! Try our Almond & Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo. It Cleanses, Moisturizes and Detangles.”

Seems as though an inadvertent and intense dialog was ensued. Comments ranged from “Co-washing is for lazy people” to the middle-of-the-road “I co-wash in between weekly shampooing”.

Lets Discuss! Is there merit to the analogy?

My personal opinion happens to be (1) to each his own and (2) for most, co-washing typically is not the only “cleansing” method used for the life of their hair care routine. At some point, shampoo is going to be employed to remove the build-up of product, whether it be once a week  or once a month. The implication that shampoo should be used each time hair is “cleansed” is quite foolish when you consider there are some who choose to “cleanse” their hair and scalp multiple times per week. Can you imagine the stripping involved if shampoo were used each time?



Lisa June 18, 2013 at 1:35 am

This is on problemI have With blogs etc. It is so hard to know if something is a true opinion or an opinion formed from a “colaboration” With a product company. There is an endless number of blogs writing about the optimal weave and the you find out the are actually been given wigs or extentions to try out and write about.

Personally, i wouldnt Wash My hair With conditioner. Make no sence to me. Conditioners leave things in your hair to make it smooth. When i Wash My hair, i want to get rid of all stuff in there, including dirt and build up products. Generallly, i Think that some people With african hair types, spend an Amazing amount of money on products and even if a lot of it is naturally based, it is a lot of stuff in the hair. When i see My caucasian friend that have a bottle of shampoo, conditioner and a style cream in their Bathroom locker, i cant help thinking if we, women of colour are victims of a commersial trap? Do we really need to have all these products? Why do we have barhrooms full of products? Does it make us happier? Or even more beautiful? Not to mention all the money and time spent on dead material (hair).

westNDNbeauty June 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Hi Lisa,

I can understand your concern with folks pushing products and not being transparent about it. But Kurlee Bell is not a blog, it is actually a hair company that sells both conditioners and shampoo — in my opinion that is very transparent. I think those situations types of situations are best left to your better judgment and should be taken with a grain of salt.

About Black hair and various hair products — I really do think our hair texture really makes a difference in the number of products that will be needed to make our hair more manageable and/or presentable. I admit that I have tons of products in my cabinet, but that is because I choose to explore different brands. In general, I think kinky hair requires more than shampoo, conditioner, and styler cream. I would venture to include deep conditioner, moisturizer, and sealant. And honestly, trial and error does occur — not all products work well for every hair type, so that may be a contributing factor in why we have so many products under our sink.

Lisa July 1, 2013 at 2:53 am

My question still remains, do we really need ALL those products? I follow quite a few hair blogs and half of their entries are recommendations (read promotion) for products. I it is a gold mine for the commercial market. Even if you have products that work fine for you, they want you to be tempted to try something that might be even better. You try it and realize that there was not too much of a difference.

I dont believe that black hair is so complicated that we need 10 bottles to get it look nice. We need to stop looking at black hair as a problem. The product company are using our insecurity and our wish that oulr hairs were different. If you have kinky hair and try to get curly hair like Thandi Newton or Alicia Keys you will have to work hard and use a lot of product daily. You will need to use even more products to get that products out of the hair. Then, a lot of those products make your hair dry and you need another product to add moisture. etc etc.

Americans (all, not only women of colour) spend 8.3 milions on beauty products. It would cost 7.5 million to supply everybody on this earth with fresh water. Something to think about.

Tami July 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm

“Americans (all, not only women of colour) spend 8.3 milions on beauty products. It would cost 7.5 million to supply everybody on this earth with fresh water. Something to think about.”

ugh. this issue isn’t about money, but about politics. There really is nothing to think about. Please don’t infer that by buying hair products we are depriving people of water. That’s a whole other thing. Access to clean drinking water is a political one over anything to do with money…and yes its sad. But has nothing to do with money spent on beauty products.

i’m totally off topic!

Chandra July 11, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Well Lisa when you say “need” I will venture to say some of us probably don’t “need” as much as what we have. And this bleeds into most of our material possession, not just hair. For many naturals caring for our hair has almost become spa like! For example, I Henna my hair every two months. Do I “need” to do that in order to have manageable hair, no I don’t. But its what I want to do. Everyone will have their own reasons for why they use or buy their products. I believe that new naturals are just trying to find what works for them. In most cases if it’s a veteran natural they are doing exactly what they know works for their hair, or what they just have a desire to do. But I completely understand where you are coming from, there are SO many products on the market that targets our community Natural and Commercial it is overwhelming! So its up to us to discover as quickly as possible what our staples are, and no one else can really figure that out for you. Our blogs can only share our experiences and what we’ve been exposed to. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t.

AmeeraNakisha June 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

So normally, I would never make this kind of comment BUT….

This is just silly. Its not even a good comparison and if they want people to buy their products, then just say so. They don’t have to question people’s personal hygiene habits by insinuating they run around with dirty laundry smelling hair.

Co-washing for most is a like a mid week refresh before wash day and again, it is not hardly the same thing

westNDNbeauty June 24, 2013 at 11:56 am

I completely agree!

Tami July 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm

i agree!

i both wash and co-wash my hair. they both serve a purpose.
this was just trying to sell a product and draw attention to their business.

if we would just let people live and some folks wouldn’t play “natural hair nazis” this wouldn’t even be an issue. i just worry about the hair on my head and what i do to my own hair, not what everyone else does to theirs. to each their own.

Chandra July 11, 2013 at 7:16 pm

That’s funny. I can see why they would say that, but my only question would be is define dirty? Just because I co wash my hair with conditioner does not mean that I am trying to remove dirt. I don’t always believe that my hair is dirty when I go to co wash it. If I believe that my hair has product build up, or is dirty then I use an apple cider vinegar rinse or bentonite clay for a cleanse on my scalp and hair. But as you said it is not necessary to stick shampoo in your hair every single time you decide you wash your hair. I use to do that at the beginning of my journey and my hair was dry as carpet! These people have to do whatever they can to try and sell their products so if you are losing money because a large number of customers are only using conditioners to wash, of course you would use this as apart of marketing or whatever, but it doesn’t make it true. We all have the right to continue to do what is working for our hair. If XYZ Curly Girl natural has healthy full hair down to her waist, there is no way that you can convince her that doing Conditioner only washes is bad for her hair? Continue to do what is working for you.